Canadian miner in PNG to be liquidated following restructure

1:45 pm on 15 August 2019

A Canadian company that planned to mine Papua New Guinea's sea floor will be liquidated after approving a restructure.

Collecting machine.

Collecting machine. Photo: Nautilus Minerals

Amid intense criticism of its plans by environmentalists, Nautilus Minerals has struggled to get its project in the Bismarck Sea off the ground.

On Monday, creditors voted unanimously to move all assets and debt to a company called Deep Sea Finance.

If approved by the Supreme Court of British Columbia, Nautilus will be liquidated following the vote.

In recent months, the company had been delisted from a stock exchange, put its assets up for sale, taken out millions in loans and obtained court protection from its creditors.

Following Monday's vote, Jonathan Mesulam, a community leader and campaigner from PNG's New Ireland Province with the environmental group the Alliance of Solwara Warriors, said opponents of the company would "re-double our efforts to ensure that the new Nautilus will never operate at Solwara 1."

PNG's government had a 15 percent stake in Nautilus and Mining Minister Johnson Tuke has said it might seek financial compensation against the company.

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